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FAQ April 2019

April 24th, 2019

Dear Parent Consultant,

I have a PPT coming up for my son. I requested this PPT three weeks ago and it is scheduled for tomorrow. I called the PPT to formally request a test for my son in the area of math. He has dyslexia and he is truly struggling with the language in his math. I am concerned that they will do what they always do, tell me they need to think about it and will get back to me. I am frustrated as this happens all the time and there is always a delay, sometimes even when the answer is no. I have already waited to hold the PPT and do not want to wait any longer for their answer, what can I do?

Jaime’s Mom

Dear Jaime’s Mom,

I hear your frustration and have a couple of suggestions. First of all, make sure you have examples of his struggles with the language of math to explain your concerns. Bring in samples and make sure the math teacher is at the PPT as well. If you have had any correspondence with the teacher, sharing these same struggles, you may want to bring that too.

As for delaying the answer, that is actually not supposed to happen at all. If you are clear that you are making a formal request the district is required to document their answer on the page called Prior Written Notice (page 3 of CT’s form). There is a spot for each, Action Proposed and Action Refused, depending upon the team’s decision. If the person running the meeting states that they want to delay the response you can say that you would like to know how they will complete the Prior Written Notice page without the team’s response to your proposal. Additionally, when that page is filled out, it is required that the district state the data that they are using to make the decision. So for example, if they tell you “no” they do not agree with the need for a math evaluation, you may want to ask “what data will you be including on Prior Written Notice that supports this decision? I would say these are your next steps and if you get a “no” and you feel you have appropriate evidence to support your position you have some additional dispute resolutions you can try next. Good luck, hopefully your explanation and evidence of his struggles will get him the needed evaluation.
The most important elements to remember when advocating for yourself or a child are that students with disabilities must have individualized education plans (IEPs) that include offers of free and appropriate public education (FAPE), and that these students are entitled to receive their education within the least restrictive environment (LRE). These rights are guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These offers of FAPE come in the form of goals, based upon the present levels of academic performance and functional performance; description of services needed with time and location; accommodations and modifications; and some legally required check points.